There you are with your clean desk, sharpened pencils, empty inbox of emails and you think you are all set to rock this school year as the newly designated Behavior Coordinator for your campus. Most of you are probably an Assistant Principal too, and grappling with all the responsibilities that come with that job. But you’re not worried, you got this! Your plan is to handle each issue right as you get it, so you don’t get behind in your paperwork. You have the code of conduct and your discipline matrix on the corner of your desk to grab at a moment’s notice. Now, you just need to help your PBIS team present the expectations, common area rules, reward system, and discipline system to the students and start building relationships with the 1500 kiddos in your school.
Fast forward a few weeks and you’re getting into a groove. You have done pretty well staying up on your paperwork, returning phone calls, and entering data into the system. It’s okay that your inbox is piling up a bit and you have a few referrals that haven’t been processed yet. Tomorrow, you’ll get to those referrals and then you’ll be all caught up!
Then it happens–a full moon–and all the craziness of a behavior coordinator starts. First, you get to school and have a message from the bus barn about a fight that broke out on one of the buses on the way to school. You have three girls waiting outside your office to talk to you about some bullying that has been going on in 6th grade. You have five messages from a parent who is questioning the teachers’ implementation of their child’s 504 accommodations. The district office calls and wants your plans to address the spike in SPED Hispanic students that are getting assigned to ISS that you were supposed to send to them a week ago.
By second period you have had three teachers call you to come take a student out of their room. The ISS teacher has to leave because she has a sick child at home. You are supposed to meet with each PLC to discuss students who are struggling academically or behaviorally and you have already missed the first two meetings today. You race to the next PLC meeting with most of the discipline data for that grade except for the five referrals that haven’t been processed yet. The teachers are asking for more severe punishments for the repeat offenders because they have tried everything in their classroom already!
They want you, the behavior coordinator, to handle it. The brand new teacher says she did not sign up for this and is about to walk out if you don’t provide her with more support for the tough students that are in her classroom. The teachers don’t understand why you can’t just keep sending them to ISS or just send them home! You leave that meeting promising to clarify the law for them, offer additional suggestions for dealing with challenging students and a guarantee that you will come into the new teacher’s classroom very soon to see what is going on and support her.
Next, You head to the cafeteria to do some team building with students when you notice that the two new students that came from Rockport and Port Aransas are sitting by themselves crying. After tending to those students and get them to the counselor. As you run past your office on your way to the next meeting, you notice that your stack of referrals has grown, you have more kids sitting outside your office, your message light is blinking and your email inbox is rapidly filling up. You shake your head and think, so much for staying on top of everything!
Behavior Coordinators don’t have to work alone.
It can be hard to be a solo Behavior Coordinator, especially when you lack the proper support or training. As you probably already know, a behavior coordinator’s job is never really done. It’s always changing: expanding and contracting based on the current situation. But, great behavior coordinator’s realize they’re not alone.
By putting proactive, preventative systems in place that support your students, your staff, and you, you make behavior management a team effort. We offer a five day Behavior Coordinator program that tackles the toughest behavior problems and helps you keep informed, and efficient. We’ll walk you through the 35 new discipline indicators on PBMAS, and help you do the nitty-gritty things like disaggregating your data and finding strategies that address your unique needs.
The more support you get the better. You’ll never be able to prevent every discipline issue on your campus, but with clear systems and processes, and a helping hand or two, you can tackle these issues head on in a clear and effective manner. In no time, you’ll be back in the thick of it: solving problems, maintaining order, and making a real difference in your school.